Wrapping Up—The Most Important Takeaways
Episode #10 of the course Muscle building by Theo Brenner-Roach
Welcome to Lesson #10. Congrats on getting this far! In this course, you’ve already learned how to calculate and adjust your muscle-building calories and macronutrients, why you might not be seeing the progress you expect, training recommendations for muscle building, the lowdown on pre- and post-workout nutrition, and much more.
In this final lesson, we will look at a few key takeaways.
Calorie Surplus for Muscle Building
Remember, you only need a small calorie surplus to build muscle; you do not need to be scarfing down pizzas and whole milk in an effort to gain weight. When it comes to effective muscle building, slow and steady wins the race. This means gaining as little as 0.5-1lb (0.2-0.5kg) a week for men and 0.25-0.75lbs (0.1-0.3kg) a week for women. Most people will find they can do this using as little as a 300kcal surplus and should start here.
For effective muscle building, your optimal daily intake should consist of protein—0.6-0.9 g per lb (1.3-2 g per kg) of bodyweight, fats—20-30% of daily intake, and carbohydrates—the remainder.
To maximize your results, you need to find that sweet spot between training enough to see results but not training so much that it impacts the rest of your life. This sweet spot sits between the three to four days of training per week for an hour in each session. This provides ample stimulus for your body to grow. But remember: To get the most from your sessions, you need to prioritize your big compound movements (presses, squats, deadlifts, etc.) and focus on getting stronger each session.
Dealing with Workout Plateau
Workout plateaus are a normal part of training and will happen from time to time as you’re building muscle. When you hit the plateau, you may use one of three strategies to overcome it: exercise rotation (i.e. switching out the exercise or exercises you’ve stagnated on for a new variation, like moving from barbell bench press to dumbbell bench press), rep range manipulation (i.e. either expanding your rep ranges and building your strength more slowly, or if you’re using a tiered rep system, increasing one set per session to give you more time to adapt to the heavier load), or micro-loading (i.e. increasing the weight lifted when you hit your set and reps goals by small increments).
General guidelines are to eat one to two hours before working out and then again within two hours of finishing your workout, with general wisdom being the sooner, the better. Still, according to research, skipping post-workout nutrition doesn’t negatively affect muscle-building process.
Supplements are an often-talked-about facet of training and nutrition, particularly when it comes to building muscle, but it’s important to know that while supplements can be useful, they are not essential.
Keys to Long-Term Success
While nutrition and trainings are undoubtedly crucial to the success of your muscle-building efforts, you also need to adhere to the two keys of long-term success—i.e. progressive overload and consistency—to see the progress you want. This means you have to strive to get stronger session after session while also remaining consistent in your efforts to train regularly and eat appropriately for your goal.
It’s time to take everything you’ve learned and put it into action. This means calculating your calories and macros, setting up your training routine, and applying principles of progressive overload and consistency.
This course has given the fundamental tools you need to make the changes you want to see, and now it’s over to you. Will you put into practice what you’ve learned and go on to achieve the results that until now you’ve only dreamed about? I hope you do.
I wish you the best of luck on your fitness journey.
Practical Programming for Strength Training by Mark Rippetoe, Andy Baker
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